BARTLETT, TN (abc24.com) - People are worn out. Tired. In Bartlett, for two years, the talk has centered around whether they should start their own school system. Right now the passion remains, but the exhaustion is there. “I honestly don’t know what to do,” says Paula Morris of Bartlett. “I really don’t.”
Mayor Keith McDonald has been fighting for suburban schools for months and months. He’s aware that right now, it’s a dead issue. Once a judge ruled that the law to set up suburban schools for next year was unconstitutional, that pretty much killed plans for schools in 2013.
Mayor McDonald also knows, however, that voters in his city and in Arlington, Lakeland, Collierville, Germantown and Millington voted overwhelmingly in favor of starting their own school systems. “The idea,” Mayor McDonald says, “is they want control and accountability to be local. They want it, so they can look people in the eye that they know, as opposed to dealing with somebody who lives someplace else they can never reach.”
Mayor McDonald and the five other suburban mayors will meet at the end of this week with those who are against suburban schools. The groups have tried to reach some kind of a compromise. It never happened.
McDonald says he still has hope. If he gets agreements, he has no problem in agreeing to send school children to the merged system for a SHORT period of time. “For the next year,” he asks, "Sure. Particularly if we had some commitment there wouldn’t be any major changes in terms of who the teachers and the principals are.”